An Overview of Asphalt Shingles

You have many choices when selecting a roof type, with many factors guiding your investment.

Budgeting will be a primary sticking point in your purchasing decision. However, there’s a necessary balancing act that must be considered.

Underspending could lead to any number of issues. For one, a cheap, low-quality roof can’t withstand the elements, nor will it possess the lasting power to justify your upfront investment.

Alternatively, you may encounter a durable but affordable roof. Sounds great, right? Well, there remains the matter of aesthetics.

What good is a sturdy, reliable roof you can’t stand looking at it day in and day out? Also, what if you want to sell your home? An ugly roof isn’t going to help your curb appeal.

So, what kind of roof offers reliability, affordability, and quality aesthetics?

Look no further than asphalt shingle roofing.

A white St. Paul home with an asphalt roof shingles.

Defining Asphalt Shingles

Asphalt shingles have several individual elements that overlap, comprised of an asphalt and fiberglass mixture covered by a granular surface.

The granules found in the shingles increase their surface area. This provides UV ray resistance, protecting roofs and homeowners from the sun and keeping them cool. It also staves off algae and mold.

Investing in asphalt shingles means purchasing one of the most common roof types for homes throughout North America. Yet, the versatility of asphalt shingles means you can achieve unique aesthetic results by choosing them for your roof. They’re available in many colors and types, meaning you can select an option that best suits your home.

There’s no accounting for taste, of course. Some homeowners appreciate a more uniform, practical style for their roofing that fits in with the rest of the neighborhood.

Conversely, other homeowners might want something more eclectic that helps their home stand out from the pack.

Asphalt shingle roofing enables you to do both–and everything in between–at a price point that makes sense.

The Composition Of Asphalt Shingles

When investing in something as integral as a roof–a primary component of your home’s exterior that protects you from the elements–it’s crucial to know every detail.

Knowing a roofing material’s composition–or at least the basics–can help you make the most informed decision. You’ll better grasp factors like durability and quality.

Case in point: the predominantly fiberglass-based composition of asphalt shingles offers a lightweight solution for seamless installation while offering more fire resistance.

Fiberglass-based asphalt shingle compositions also use 100% glass fiber mats of varying orientations or lengths. A specially formulated asphalt coating and weather-resistant mineral granules then surface the fiberglass base.

A base (aka substrate or termed mat) made of multiple cellulose fibers (e.g., wood fibers and recycled waste paper) is used to manufacture organic-based asphalt shingles.

Afterward, a specifically formulated asphalt coating is applied to saturate the base. It’s also surfaced with mineral granules boasting weather-resistant properties.

Professional St. Paul roofing contractors installing an asphalt shingle roof.

The Three Types Of Asphalt Shingles

Below is a breakdown of the three types of asphalt shingles:

Three-Tab Shingles:

  • This type of shingle is your most economical choice when shopping for asphalt shingles.
  • Three-tab shingles possess a uniform size and shape. They’re flat, with three distinct tabs giving them their classic look.
  • Typically thinner than other shingle types, tabbed shingles don’t stand out as much as different styles.
  • The advantages of three-tab shingles are their ease of installation and lightness of weight. They’re also one of the more affordable options–ideal for homeowners on a strict budget.

Architectural Shingles:

  • This option exceeds the three-tab style in price and aesthetic freedom.
  • Architectural shingles possess a textured, dimensional appearance, vastly enhancing a home’s curb appeal.
  • You may hear these referred to as “dimensional shingles” or “laminated shingles,” resulting from their more textured surface and enhanced thickness.
  • Lasting power is another advantage of architectural shingles; they can have a 50-year lifespan.

Luxury Shingles:

  • Luxury shingles–as their name implies–are a more high-end asphalt shingle option. They can emulate the appearance of slate, wood, clay tile, and other such expensive roofing materials.
  • On top of asphalt, other materials (e.g., natural or synthetic fibers) are used in composing luxury shingles to offer a more realistic, textured appearance.
  • These are multi-layered shingles with a thicker cut, offering more dimension in feel and look. They’re the most expensive of the asphalt shingle types due to their elegant aesthetic. Plus, they beef up energy efficiency, fire resistance, and durability.
  • Often marketed as “designer,” “specialty,” or “premium” shingles, luxury shingles are available in many styles, textures, and colors, offering maximum customization opportunities.
  • While the upfront costs of luxury shingles exceed the other options, you’d be paying for quality and durability. The long-term value is often well worth the loftier installation costs.

Benefits Of Asphalt Shingles for St. Paul homes

Here’s a list of advantages reaped from asphalt shingles:

  • The lower manufacturing costs (compared to other shingles) mean asphalt shingles–even luxury options–provide a cost-effective roofing material.
  • Asphalt roof shingles can hang tough in the face of heavy rain, winds, and other examples of temperamental weather.
  • Are you an experienced DIYer? Then, it’ll please you to hear how easy it is to install asphalt roofing shingles. Non-DIYers can also trust that professional installers can get the job done quickly–they’ll be out of your hair quickly.
  • Variety is a significant advantage of asphalt roofing shingles. Finding an option that meshes seamlessly with your home aesthetic won’t be challenging.
  • You don’t need to work too hard to maintain asphalt shingles. While some maintenance is required, they typically don’t require unique treatments or cleanings.

What Is The Average Cost Of Asphalt Shingles in St. Paul?

It’ll cost an average of between $5,130 and $18,360 to install asphalt shingles on a stand 3,000-square-foot roof.

It’s worth noting that not everyone’s roof is that big. Furthermore, you can maximize the value of your asphalt shingle roof by performing routine maintenance.

As mentioned previously, the maintenance tasks for asphalt shingles aren’t overly challenging. You don’t need to break your back. Still, it’s wise to inspect your roof once annually (at least) to prevent leaks. You should also clear any debris from your gutters and roof to prevent it from shortening your shingles’ lifespan.

Learn more about asphalt roofing by contacting Canopy, a leading industry expert in St. Paul with 20 years of field experience. We’re happy to answer any of your roofing-based inquiries.

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